Camera catches two giant pandas' wooing and mating

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A female giant panda stays on a sharptooth oak, about 15 meters above the ground, in the Foping Nature Reserve in Northwest China's Shaanxi province. [Photo/] 

Two wild giant pandas have been recently spotted copulating in the wild in a nature reserve during the mating season, and workers used cameras to capture the whole process.

Workers first found the two pandas on March 26 in the Foping Nature Reserve in Northwest China's Shaanxi province. The female panda climbed on to an oak tree, about 15 meters above the ground. The male crouched on the ground near the tree.

The female stayed high up on the tree for about 10 days without eating anything before the two finally came together on April 4 after a time and energy-consuming pursuit. The male stayed near the tree nearly the whole time during the pursuit.

Workers said they have seen the process of pandas falling in love at three different locations in the reserve this year. Usually, there would be at least two male pandas pursuing a female, and after a fight the winner would mate with the female.

Pandas have solitary lifestyles, and females only tolerate a male's presence around them two or three days a year during the mating season, wildlife experts said. Their eggs only live for 36 to 40 hours, making conception even more difficult. The success rate of conception is between 30 percent and 40 percent and no more than 40 percent of cubs survive.

According to a recent survey in Shaanxi province, about 345 giant pandas live in the wild in the Qinling Mountains, a 20 percent increase compared to 10 years ago.

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